PITTSBURGH — Scott Walker was surrounded by the media today in the Mellon Arena locker room, once again telling a story he still believes is surreal.
The story of learning that his wife, Julie, had been diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of competing in the Boston Bruins playoff series, trying to play hockey, with so much on his mind. Of scoring the overtime goal in Game 7 against the Bruins. Finally, of going public with the news on Saturday and discussing it at length.
But there's a little more to the inspiring story. After the media horde peeled away today, Walker said that Julie made a special request the day of Game 7.
"She never says anything to me about playing the games or goals or anything like that, but that day when she called, she said, 'Score one for me and everything will be all right,'" Walker said.
Consider that Scott Walker had never scored a playoff goal. He scored just five in the regular season.
But with the Canes' season on the line, Walker flashed to the net late in overtime. He was there to whack in the rebound of a Ray Whitney shot for the biggest goal of his life — surely in more ways than one — as the Canes won 3-2.
A text message was waiting for him after the game, from Julie: "See, I told you, and everything will be all right."
"It's amazing, unbelievable," Walker said today, shaking his head.
Julie Walker is expected to make a full recovery, Scott said. The belied is that, in the end, everything will be all right.